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6 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Spironolactone Acne Treatments

Acne is a persistent problem for many. Finding the right solution often leads to various medications, including spironolactone. Spironolactone treats conditions like high blood pressure and heart issues but is also prescribed off-label for acne in women.

However, despite seeing improvement in their acne with spironolactone, many are unaware of the underlying issues this medication can cause. In this article, we delve into six reasons you might want to reconsider using spironolactone for acne treatment.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Spironolactone is a commonly prescribed treatment for acne, especially hormonal acne in adult women, but it can come with various side effects, including dizziness and irregular potassium levels.
  • While effective for some, spironolactone isn't suitable for everyone and may not align with specific life plans or health considerations.
  • There are many alternatives to spironolactone for treating acne, ranging from lifestyle changes to other medications, providing diverse options for personalized skin care.
  • Exposed Skin Care offers a natural alternative to spironolactone, providing a holistic approach to managing acne without the associated side effects of traditional medications.

Hand holding white medicine pill

Understanding Spironolactone

What is Spirolactone?

Spironolactone is a diuretic typically used to treat high blood pressure and heart problems. It lowers the body's potassium levels, causing increased urination, which helps lower blood pressure.

Healthcare providers may recommend spironolactone for acne, specifically for treating hormonal acne. However, there are important considerations to remember before taking spironolactone for acne.

6 Reasons to Think Twice About Spironolactone Acne Treatments

Reason 1 - Hormonal Imbalances

Spironolactone blocks certain hormones like androgen and testosterone, which can lead to hormonal imbalances in the body. These hormones are essential for various bodily functions.

  • Androgen Hormones: Spironolactone blocks these hormones, leading to imbalances that can affect your mood, energy levels, and more.
  • Testosterone Levels: Lowering testosterone can affect both men and women, leading to hair loss and fatigue.

Reason 2 - Potential Side Effects of Spironolactone

Using spironolactone for acne can cause various side effects that range from mild to severe.

  • Dizziness: A common side effect of this diuretic medication.
  • Breast Tenderness: Particularly in women, spironolactone may cause this discomfort.
  • Increased Urination: Being a diuretic, it leads to more frequent urination.
  • Irregular Potassium Levels: Since spironolactone is used to lower potassium levels, it can sometimes cause an imbalance, leading to health issues.

Reason 3 - Contraceptive Conflicts

Women taking birth control pills or using other contraceptive methods must be cautious with spironolactone.

  • Interactions with Birth Control: Spironolactone can interact with certain birth control pills, potentially reducing their effectiveness.

Young woman looking at contraceptive pills

  • Pregnancy Concerns: Women trying to become pregnant should avoid taking spironolactone for acne, as it might interfere with pregnancy.

Reason 4 - Long-term Use Dangers

Long-term use of spironolactone for treating acne in women or adult acne can lead to more severe problems.

  • Chronic Kidney Issues: Prolonged lowering of potassium levels can stress the kidneys.
  • Persistent Side Effects: Continued use may exacerbate side effects like dizziness, breast tenderness, and irregular urination.

Reason 5 - Lack of Effectiveness in Certain Types of Acne

Not all acne is the same, and spironolactone might not be effective for every type of acne.

  • Acne Vulgaris: This common type of acne might not see improvement with spironolactone treatment.
  • Non-Hormonal Acne: For acne not caused by hormonal imbalances, spironolactone may not be the right treatment option.

Reason 6 - Dosage and Timing Concerns

Finding the right doses of spironolactone and the time to see results can be tricky.

  • Low Dose Ineffectiveness: Low doses like 200 mg daily may be ineffective.
  • Time to Work: It may take months to see significant improvements in acne, leading to frustration.

Alternative Options

While spironolactone is an effective treatment for some, these six reasons highlight why it might not be the best option for everyone. It is essential to explore alternative treatments such as topical treatments, retinoid therapy, or even simple changes in lifestyle and diet. These can offer benefits without the potential pitfalls of using spironolactone for acne.

Topical Treatments: Skin Care without Oral Medication

Topical treatments can be an effective way to treat acne without the need for oral medication like spironolactone. Here's an overview of some topical options:

  • Retinoid Therapy: Topical retinoids are derived from Vitamin A and work by promoting cell turnover, unclogging pores, and reducing sebum production.
  • Benzoyl Peroxide: This over-the-counter option targets acne-causing bacteria and helps dry out the skin to prevent breakouts.
  • Salicylic Acid: Salicylic acid works by dissolving excess oil and dead skin cells for treating blackheads and whiteheads.

Woman blurred holding serum of salicylic acid

Dietary and Lifestyle Changes: Natural Ways to Treat Acne

What you eat and how you live your life can significantly impact your skin. Here are some alternative approaches to consider:

  • Healthy Eating: Consuming a balanced diet of vitamins and antioxidants can promote healthy skin. Avoiding foods that cause acne, such as those high in sugar and fats, can make a difference.
  • Proper Hydration: Drinking plenty of water helps flush toxins and hydrate the skin.
  • Regular Exercise: Exercise increases blood flow, helping nourish skin cells and clear pores.

Over-the-Counter Solutions: Accessible and Affordable Options

Sometimes, simple over-the-counter products can effectively treat acne without needing spironolactone or other medications.

  • Cleansers and Scrubs: Specially formulated cleansers and scrubs with active ingredients like glycolic acid can be effective.
  • Oil-Free Moisturizers: Hydrating without clogging pores, these moisturizers maintain the skin's natural balance.

Medical Alternatives: Beyond Spirolactone Acne Treatments

When considering medical treatments beyond spironolactone, there are a variety of options:

  • Light and Laser Therapy: Targeting the deep layers of the skin, these therapies can reduce acne scars and inflammation.

Light therapy in derma clinic

  • Chemical Peels: Removing the top layer of skin, chemical peels can reduce the appearance of acne scars and promote new skin growth.
  • Accutane: Though it comes with its risks and side effects, Accutane is a prescribed medication that has been effective for some in treating severe acne.

Natural Remedies: Herbal and Home Solutions

Natural remedies might be an appealing alternative for those looking for a more holistic approach.

  • Tea Tree Oil: Known for its antimicrobial properties, tea tree oil can be an effective topical treatment.
  • Aloe Vera: Soothing and anti-inflammatory, aloe vera can be applied to the skin for gentle healing.

Managing Acne with Exposed Skin Care: A Natural Alternative to Spironolactone

If you've been prescribed oral spironolactone for acne treatment, you may be familiar with taking the medication and monitoring for side effects. While spironolactone usually works to manage acne, it may come with several undesirable side effects. Exposed Skin Care provides a natural and effective way to manage acne.  Exposed Skin Care Basic Kit


Key benefits include:

  • No need to stop taking spironolactone: Transition smoothly with consistent use.
  • Results within a few weeks: Experience visible improvement quickly.
  • Safe for all skin types: Unlike spironolactone, which isn't suitable for everyone, Exposed Skin Care caters to various skin types.
  • Addresses stubborn acne: This approach offers hope even if acne hasn't responded to other treatments.

Exposed Skin Care provides an alternative for those looking to move away from spironolactone, especially if planning significant life changes or if concerned about potential risks associated with long-term drug usage.


Navigating the array of treatments used to treat acne can often lead to relying on medications like spironolactone. While spironolactone works to manage acne for many, it's important to consider the potential side effects of spironolactone that may affect an individual's overall health.

Side effects such as dizziness, breast tenderness, or even more serious consequences can emerge when you start taking the medication.

Alternative treatments, ranging from over-the-counter solutions to lifestyle changes, present opportunities to manage acne without relying on spironolactone. These alternatives may be particularly beneficial if you plan significant life changes or have specific health considerations.

Products like Exposed Skin Care offer additional pathways, aligning with the understanding that spironolactone isn't the sole answer for everyone. Though not the main focus of treatment, they represent part of a broader spectrum of choices available to those seeking acne relief.

In conclusion, the journey to healthy, clear skin doesn't necessarily require adherence to any single treatment. The landscape of acne management is diverse and multi-faceted, accommodating various needs and preferences.


Q: What is spironolactone, and how is it used to treat acne?

A: Spironolactone is a diuretic often prescribed to treat high blood pressure, but it's also used off-label to treat acne. It works by blocking certain hormones that trigger acne.

Q: What are the common side effects of spironolactone?

A: The side effects of spironolactone can include dizziness, breast tenderness, and irregular potassium levels.

Q: Is spironolactone suitable for everyone with acne?

A: No, spironolactone isn't suitable for everyone. It's generally prescribed for adult women experiencing hormonal acne and is often avoided in specific scenarios like pregnancy.

Q: Are there alternatives to spironolactone for treating acne?

A: There are numerous alternatives ranging from topical treatments to dietary changes. Products like Exposed Skin Care offer natural solutions as well.

Q: How long does it usually take to see results from spironolactone?

A: Results from spironolactone can be seen within a few weeks, but consistent use over a more extended period may be required for significant improvement.